Applicant Satisfaction - Why It May Be Your Fault

Posted by Vincent Fabello on January 23, 2015


"I can't get no satisfaction... 'cause I try and I try."

Everyone knows that the applicant is putting their best foot forward. But is the company? If not, why not?

Applicant Satisfaction - Why It May Be Your Fault

Everyone wants happy and productive employees; every company wants to be the best company in their space. But how can a company know that they are the best and that people see them as the best? To know, companies can check their applicant satisfaction. Asking "How was your experience applying with us?" can tell you more than if the application form is too long or the new hire orientation is boring. This allows a company to take a step back and look at their processes from an outsider's perspective. It can shed some light on how the company is portraying their organization to applicants versus what candidates experience when they are hired. In today's social world, this firsthand experience and testimonial is as important to a company's reputation and messaging as any other marketing effort. The real goal is highlighting where a change needs to occur internally.

An applicant can help a company reflect honestly not just how they're portraying themselves, but an honest current state. How well does an employee know their role? How well can they articulate the company direction and their department's contribution to that direction? These questions can be dismissed as academic, but they speak to how in tune employees are with the company's direction and how focused that company is.

In 2012, CareerBuilder commissioned a survey of more than 3,900 U.S. Workers by Harris Interactive. Some of the factual findings won't surprise anyone who has applied for a job recently.

  • 60% of employers "never bothered letting me know the decision after the interview"
  • 43% of candidates found out during the interview "the job didn't match what was written in the job ad"
  • 34% of the candidates said the company representative "didn't present a positive work experience"

As one would expect, this same survey found that negative experiences would lead to negative actions.

  • 42% said they would "Never seek employment at the company again"
  • 22% would "tell others not to work there"
  • 9% would "tell others not to purchase products or services from the company"

recent Forbes article illustrates the effects of negative company reviews. However, the real value of such knowledge for companies knows what needs to change. Is there an opportunity for more training for not just the interview process, but the competencies of employees? Is there a reason for employee dissatisfaction with the company that can be fixed to help retain top talent? It may be as simple as the job descriptions need to be revised. But it may be the job, the role, or the company direction may need to be refocused, clarified and redirected. These are some of the insights that can be gained by using applicant satisfaction as a mirror on a company.

Click here for the full SmartPaper on the "Top 10 Recruiting Metrics HR Should Know About."